Sweet sounds for Nevada hoops: Jazz Johnson will be back

Tahoe Onstage

High-scoring guard Jazz Johnson will return to Nevada next season for his senior year.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

Nevada basketball player Jazz Johnson will be staying with the Silver and Blue.

Johnson announced he will return to to the Wolf Pack in a press conference with local media on Friday. He averaged 11.0 points on a team-leading 45.2 shooting from behind the arc.

“I’m gonna stay with the Pack,” Johnson announced. “The community here loves me and I love them. And after a lot of long talks with my parents … we came to the conclusion that this is the best place for me.”

Tahoe Onstage

Jazz Johnson drives to his right as well as he does to his left.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

The hiring of head coach Steve Alford had positive implications on Johnson’s career going forward.

“There was a lot of questions surrounding my future,” he said. “But it was important coach came in and I really appreciate the fact he came in and tried to consider as much as we were saying as possible.”

Under Alford, Johnson looks to have complete control of the offense as the point guard. He started just one game with the Wolf Pack this season, playing the off-guard position. His smooth stroke from the perimeter gave Nevada some much-need spacing off the bench.

“I wanted an opportunity to show what I could do off of ball screens,” he said. “Having more decision-making opportunities is huge for me to take my game to the next level as a point guard, and he’s providing that for me.”

Johnson, along with seven other Wolf Pack players, put their names into the NCAA transfer portal system over the past two weeks. Four players are under scholarship in the current roster: Johnson, Lindsey Drew, Shamiel Stevenson and Mike Lewis II.

“We have the nucleus,” he said. “It’s important for all of us to know that if we stay here if — all of us stay here — we have a team that loves each other.”

— Isaiah Burrows

About Isaiah Burrows

Tahoe Onstage sportswriter Isaiah Burrows also is a general assignment reporter for CarsonNow.org, an online news source in Carson City. He is a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he writes sports for the Sagebrush student newspaper. He is the Reno Aces beat writer for Tahoe Onstage.

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